Cape Town - Heritage Western Cape (HWC) says the Two Rivers Urban Park (TRUP) area should be assessed for Grade I heritage status.
Grade I heritage resources are exceptional and considered to be of national significance, and are identified and managed by the South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA).
This follows discussions held with interested parties and HWC last Thursday on the provincial heritage status of the TRUP.
As part of the TRUP is subject to a R4 billion redevelopment by the Liesbeek Leisure Properties Trust, several roleplayers made submissions before the HWC council.
HWC chief executive Michael Janse van Rensburg said their Council resolved to approve HWC notifying SAHRA of its opinion that the TRUP area should be assessed for Grade I heritage status in terms of Section 24(1)(e) of the National Heritage Resources Act (NHRA).“
“Based on discussions at various meetings and documents put forward in terms of the heritage significance for the TRUP area, and not withstanding that an application for the proposed nomination of the site for Grade I status is also currently submitted with SAHRA. HWC is of the strong opinion that the TRUP area is worthy of being further investigated for Grade I heritage status. This does not detract from the site being of very high regional significance,” HWC’s Council found.
Tauriq Jenkins, high commissioner of the Goringhaicona Khoena Council questioned why the area remains ungraded and unprotected, given its heritage significance.
“This sacred environmentally sensitive precinct belongs to our ancestors, and to our shared humanity. It is an epicentre of spirituality and resistance. Where occupation and dispossession of the Two Rivers, it’s confluence and embankments occurred in 1657. It is from this site where the First Frontier Wars were fought. It is the starting point where massacre, forced exile and genocide began.
“We all know its full worth as a Provincial, National and a UNESCO Heritage Site,” Jenkins said.
The Liesbeek Leisure Properties Trust (LLPT) in a statement said they noted the decision by HWC not to accept the nomination for a provincial heritage site.
“The LLPT will participate in any processes required by SAHRA if and when it assesses whether the TRUP area should be nominated for Grade 1 heritage status.
“This however will be a very lengthy process as SAHRA will be required to comply with the legislative provisions of the National Heritage Resources Act, which will include being required to first undertake detailed independent and expert studies of the area.
“In the meantime, the LLPT will continue focusing on delivering the world class River Club redevelopment which will... deliver over 6000 critical jobs during these tough economic times.”
Sahra yesterday said it received a nomination for heritage status in 2019, however due to information missing and the HWC process, this had not yet been processed.
“The difference between a national or provincial declaration is the authority to whom the permit will be applied. The case will need to be assessed and a determination made from there,” Sahra said.